Release DetailsLABEL Equal Vision
RELEASED ON 9/19/2006
Fear Before The March of Flames
The Always Open Mouth
posted on 11/2006 By:
It was with some trepidation that I hit ‘play’ for this album especially considering that the band's prior effort, Art Damage, was a rather annoying, squawking, spazz-core release that grated me somewhat. However, after multiple listens with The Always Open Mouth, have made one of the more drastic album to album improvements I’ve heard.
The maturation in songwritng from teenage, chaotic spurts of noise to a brooding, experimental, alt rock project that sounds more like Tool and Planes Mistaken For Stars mixed with NIN, newer Dillinger Escape Plan and even Isis is striking, as FBTMOF see their songs become less pretentious, more fluid, independent and varied. There is still the occasional spurt of screaming, histrionic noise (“Drowning the Old Hag”, “Lycanthropy”, “A Gift For Fiction”), but it’s far less annoying and brings some guts to the album's otherwise more rock based prose. The album is also littered with dark programming and electronica (“Absolute”, “Dog Sized Bird” as well as sprinklings in all the tracks) which draws the NIN comparisons.
However, the tracks that lure you in are the strangely restrained, foreboding and structured and memorable tracks which have a little of everything like “Mouth”, “Taking Cassandra to the End of the World Party”, “The Waiting Makes Me Curious”, “High as a Horse” and “Complete and Utter Confusion”, “A Brief Tutorial in Bachanalia”, “Absolute Past” which have mainly clean vocals and pained spoken words rather than all unintelligble squawking as well as off the wall programming and beats.
The less childish musical and lyrical spats along with the band’s darker, almost sullen moodier songs are far more fluid than the temper tantrums of Art Damage and the experimentation isn’t as much of a random injection, but bolsters the overall sound of the album.
A surprisingly good album and an unexpected improvement from a band that I saw get booed heartily at Sounds of the Underground in 2005. This album might prevent such responses in the future.
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